Sisanda Magala wants his ’actions to speak’ for the Proteas
CAPE TOWN - Not any fast bowler can count Dale Steyn among his biggest admirers. Let alone one who has yet to play a single game for his country.
But Sisanda Magala certainly has the legendary Proteas speedster in his corner. Steyn has often taken to social media to show his appreciation for Magala.
If it's not a caption posted #DalaWhatYouMust or "So excited for Sisanda Magala" then it's an appreciation tweet for the way the 30-year-old seamer excites him when Magala bowls in tandem with Proteas spearhead Kagiso Rabada at the Highveld Lions.
Steyn has even punted Magala for stint in the IPL should anyone get injured ahead of the T20 tournament.
While this might seem like a heavy burden to carry for an uncapped international bowler, Magala is clearly not showing it.
He is always one of the most jovial characters in any team he plays in and it has been no different since joining the Proteas.
"I think the most important thing is to find time to switch off. When it's cricket, it's cricket.
“You are fully invested in it 100%. But when you (are) not playing, it is important to find a place to chill and really switch off to maintain that energy when you come back to play," Magala said.
"I chill with Lutho 'Fresh Legs' Sipamla, Beuran (Hendricks), Anrich (Nortje), Temba (Bavuma) ... I chill with anyone. If there is an opportunity to speak nonsense I am there."
But that doesn't mean Magala doesn't take his cricket seriously.
"I wouldn't say I am too loud on the field.
“I prefer my actions speaking. I do crack a few jokes now and then, if the guys are having a bad day, then I try to take their mind off and switch their mental energy," he added.
The road to international cricket has been a bumpy one for Magala. He has been included in national squads before and not given an opportunity. This has, though, not been due to his skill-set, but rather issues related to his weight.
He certainly showed in the T20 Challenge that he was hungry to represent South Africa by finishing top of the wicket-takers list with 13 dismissals. It now all depends on whether he passes the physical examinations.
"It's been hard graft, lots of running, lots of skill work. It's been very competitive. Good hard days of training," Magala said.
"There a still a couple of obstacles I need to overcome. But I am really excited and can't wait for the challenges."
Magala is best known for delivering a really "heavy ball" and has the ability to crank up the speed gun to over the 140km/h mark on occasion.
However, his real skill-set comes to the fore at the back-end of the innings where he is adept at keeping things tight at the death through a toe-crushing yorker and slower ball bouncer.
Even more impressive is his willingness to accept the challenge of bowling at the death.
"I know exactly who I am and what obstacles I have come across, and what I have overcome. I know exactly the type of character I am in terms of pressure," Magala said.
"It's actually a privilege to be put under pressure.
“When you feel pressure, you are actually excited to do well. I am the entertainer!"
Hopefully Magala gets the opportunity to entertain Proteas fans in the series-opening ODI against Pakistan at Centurion on Friday.